Differences 1

A Transformers Prime Fanfiction

Set Before "Trickster"

The stars over this arid land had seen far too many battles to count. They had watched, singing a song that man no longer heard, as he killed his brother with stone, spears, swords, and weapons that drew their power from the stars themselves. The sounds of wood and stone had long since been replaced with the clash metal and the rumble of explosions, but the titans that they watched tonight were not the creatures of carbon and water they had always known. The striking of metal on metal came from living flesh composed of elements alien but not unknown to the world the great beings now fought over. The sound of rending metal filled the still night air along with a cry of triumph, and still the stars sang on.

O

O

"Jack!" the demanding cry filled the silo causing the raven haired human in question to jerk his attention away from the computer screen he'd been studying.

"What is it Ratchet?" he asked with a level voice concealing the fear that twisted in his gut.

That tone usually meant someone had been injured, or worse. The words that came next were expected and caught the raven haired youth as he turned the corner into the medbay.

"Warm up the mesh sealer and prep the frame welder Jack. Optimus is seriously injured and coming in hot."

The human felt his stomach wind even tighter at that. He focused on the task at hand; pulling Cybertronian sized scanners and scalpels out of cabinets and arranging them around the large berth the medic used for Optimus. He darted up and down strategically placed ladders, ran his hands swiftly over the alien sigils that activated the devices Ratchet would most likely need, and finally stood tensely to the side ears straining to hear the thunder of giant pedfalls. The seconds stretched out unbelievably as his heart raced.

Optimus was injured bad enough to retreat. That probably meant Megatron had been at the energon gathering site; possibly Dreadwing. There were few enemies that could take on the Prime and seriously damage him. Jack shifted and wiped his sweating palms on his pants, running the list of things the medic might need through his mind. What was taking them so long?

"Ratchet! Optimus is hurt!" Arcee's voice cut through the silo and Jack had to admire her control, his own heart began to pound even harder.

"Medbay, now!"

The heavy steady pedfalls of the Prime filled the silo and the human felt himself relax slightly. Optimus was still walking at least. When the mech came around the corner of the room however his stomach lurched. The red and blue Cybertronian was clutching his left arm with his right servo. Energon ran freely down the crimson mesh. Jack couldn't quite process what he was looking at. There was simply too much movement in the damaged limb. The Prime seemed to sense the youth's attention and those cerulean optics sought out the blue-grey eyes with a comforting smile. Jack responded with a weak smile of his own as he watched Ratchet maneuver Optimus into the best position on the medical berth.

The medic was barking orders to Arcee who stood alertly and nervously at the berth side. Jack didn't like what he was hearing. True, he was no expert on Cybertronian medical terminology but words like irreparable, torn lines, and gross damage couldn't be good for any species. The youth started when Ratchet snapped out him name and darted across the lab to pull the requested device out of a low cupboard. The red and white mech snatched it from his hands without comment and continued treating the Prime.

"Jackson," the deep voice was tight, full of pain.

"Yes, Optimus?" Jack asked a little shakily, he had seen the kind of damage the great mech could take without flinching, to hear so much suffering expressed was disturbing.

"Come up beside me?" it was a request, and also an offer.

The raven haired youth nodded eagerly and leapt easily up to the berth and made his way to stand beside the blue helm opposite where Ratchet was working; the mass of Optimus's head shielding him from stray energon droplets. Not that he of all humans really needed that protection. The Prime turned to look at the human and Jack felt something pass between them; permission. Not for the first time the raven haired youth found himself cursing his limitations and almost regretting the mech's faith in him as he reached out to gently rest a hand on the smooth mesh.

Jack closed his eyes and focused outward. Soon his awareness shifted from the solid sensations of matter to the glowing life force that surrounded him. Here; deep within the mountain the living luminosity was less but it made it that much easier to focus on his task. The youth let his awareness wander over Arcee; her pale blue life force slightly blurry, Ratchet; the strong gold gleaming with his intense focus, finally the human steeled himself and focused on Optimus. The Prime hummed with raw power that once again nearly took his breath away. Even injured the mech radiated a life force that could not be ignored. It was not the silvery-blue power that made Jack hesitate however, but what he knew he would see on the Prime's arm.

Unlike humans who gave off a seamless aura of life force Jack had noted that Cybertronians were something like galaxies. They had a bright core at their sparks surround by intricate interwoven lacework that matched the patterns of energon lines that Ratchet had shown him once. He let his awareness wander over the Prime's form, keenly aware that the increased brightness he saw was due to the mech's systems fighting to repair the damage to his… Jack's stomach decided to quit twisting and simply vacate his body when his awareness fell on the injury.

Damaged didn't even begin to describe it. The veins of energon that carried the life giving substance from the Prime's great spark to his servos had been shorn clear through from his shoulder to his wrist. The delicate trace work of fine capillaries were shattered and scattered. Energon pooled where the mighty force of black servos on the healthy hand had crushed the torn mesh together. The damage ran diagonally through the powerful frame that comprised the core of the arm the only remaining attachment; the intricate but shattered joints of the wrist. Perhaps worse than all of that was the taint. Staining the rough edges of the wound and slowly seeping into the open vessels was the revolting purple taint of dark energon.

Again the raven haired youth cursed his meager healing ability. When his friend and mentor Zech Franklin had begun teaching him to wield his new found abilities the other human had seemed convinced that Jack would soon master the art of aiding a body in repairing itself, but the truth had quickly become evident.

"You are a warrior Jack," the larger man had finally informed him, "and your potential is greater than I expected, but you will only ever have a weak healing ability."

The raven haired youth jerked his mind away from the memory and focused on what he could do now to help. Ratchet was rapidly sealing off the worst of the energon leaks. Prime's own systems were fine tuned and healthy, there was little even an experienced healer could do to assist him. Taking a deep breath Jack focused on the sickening presence of the dark energon. Carefully the human extended his own life force and gently nudged at a purple stain. Immediately the vile energy latched onto him and sought to overwhelm his control. The youth violently purged the taint and refocused. This time he formed his energy into a shield and began stroking the distorted glow. He felt the dark power trying to seep through the shield but kept up the slow tedious motion. One spot clear he shifted to the next. When his shield became too heavily tainted he purged the energy. The youth paused half way and measured the amount of energon still poisoning the mech's systems and the energetic cost to himself of creating and then rejecting the shield. With relief he saw that he would easily have enough energy to finish what he had started. Taking a deep breath the human focused on the next spot and began stroking the dark stain.